Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe YP FIC JAFFE

Jane Freeman wakes up in a rosebush and she can’t move. She also can’t remember anything about what happened at the party the night before, but she needs to. Because she thinks it wasn’t just a hit and run, that someone wants to kill her. As she mends her body in the hospital and tries to piece her fractured memory together, her many friends and well wishers come to see her and tell her as much as they can about the party, but everyone’s story is different. When she begins getting threatening calls no one else is around to hear Jane realizes she has to remember who tried to kill her before they return to finish the job. As memories flood to the surface she uncovers secrets about the people she knows and herself and realizes that her perfect popular life was an illusion. An illusion someone will kill to protect.

This is a very rare find, a thriller that is also a compelling look at love, friendship, and loyalty. It’s a really suspenseful story and the false leads Jane follows in her disjointed memory gives the book plenty of twists that will keep the reader guessing. Jaffe does a good job of making the reader and Jane question her own sanity. I will say that while I like how the mystery developed I found the ending somewhat hard to believe. However, the writing of Jane is so good that I was willing to overlook it. She changes over the book almost entirely by looking back at her life and seeing herself through other’s eyes, which is good, because she’s sort of a brat at first. I guess car accidents are an awesome way to become a better person! Her slow realization of the kind of person she really is and what the people around her are really like is a very effective way to build characterization and allows the reader to follow Jane on her journey If you like mysteries this is one of the best written YA mysteries I have read (even with its lackluster reveal).

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